OHA Chair Colette Machado Joins Rally Against Gay Marriage Special Session
Lech Walesa: “Gays should not impose themselves on the majority”
Stay Strong: You Can Influence Hawaii’s Same-Sex 'Marriage' Debate
Deedy jury foreman: Deadlocked 8-4 for Acquittal
Cato: Hawaii Scores ‘F-‘ Lacks Public School Spending Transparency
Official White House Petition Urges No Executive Order for Akaka Tribe
Honolulu Ranks 128th on 2013 "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report"
Political libraries vs. living memorials
'LGBT-identified' Children Should be Taken Away from Christian Parents
Xian: Homophobic messages from church groups opposing legalization create an environment among religious congregations, ripe for abuse and rejection of LGBT-identified children. It is spiritually wounding for youth, who have grown up in Christian households, to be told that God hates them because of their sexual identity.
And it is abusive when an LGBT-identified child is also rejected by his or her own family, promoted by religious homophobia. A large percentage of homeless youth are LGBT-identified, leaving them more vulnerable than their peers to homelessness, sexual exploitation, exclusion from education, poverty, drug abuse, and suicide.
Time is of the essence to prevent these harms by recreating our faith-based communities as more accepting and supportive of LGBT youth.
(Political Correctness Reminder: Gender is changeable, sexual orientation is not. If you forget this, you will be required to report for diversity training.)
Meet Xian's Co-Conspirator: Allegedly Naked Editor with Wings allegedly fabricated sources (endorsed twice for BoE by Advertiser!)
Precisely as Predicted: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
Cover Story: Marriage Equality Ensures Equal Rights for All Americans
read ... If they can do your son once, they can take him from you
Gay Marriage to Suffer Fate of Superferry
CB: A special session to consider same-sex marriage legislation would cost Hawaii taxpayers about $25,800.
That cost estimate, provided to Civil Beat from state House Chief Clerk Brian Takeshita, assumes that a session would last just five days. (The overall estimate was calculated based on the per diem of $175 for each of Hawaii's 24 neighbor island legislators, multiplied by five days, along with round-trip air fare of $200 per legislator. Takeshita said extra staff would not be hired for the special session.)
There could be another greater cost, though, if the legislation does not withstand legal challenges. That was the case the last time the Hawaii Legislature went into special session, when it carved out an exemption to state law so that the Hawaii Superferry could sail.
read ... Next Superferry
Souki: Governor not ready to call special session on gay marriage
SA: Souki would not say whether the House had the votes for a gay marriage bill after House Democrats met in private caucus to discuss a special session. The governor had been waiting for a House vote count before making his decision on a special session. ...
"We had a very interesting session," Souki told reporters. "And I had to report to them (House Democrats) that the governor at this point is not ready to call a special session. And so we will have continual discussion on the merits of the draft that's being presented by the governor and by the concerns that (were) presented by the caucus over here."
Louise Kim McCoy, Abercrombie's spokeswoman, confirmed that the governor had spoken with Souki but would only say that discussions about a special session are ongoing.
House Majority Leader Scott Saiki said lawmakers discussed the scope of a religious exemption in a draft gay marriage bill.
Related: OHA Chair Colette Machado Joins Rally Against Gay Marriage Special Session
SA: Abercrombie, Schatz Headline Gay 'Marriage' Rally
read ... Not Ready
Deedy jury foreman: Deadlocked 8-4 for Acquittal
HNN: When the Deedy jury took its initial vote on the first day of deliberations, jury foreman Justin Odagiri said they were evenly divided, with six jurors saying not guilty and another six saying he was guilty.
But Odagiri said over five and a half days, two jurors changed their minds, resulting in a deadlock with eight people saying "not guilty" and four jurors voting to convict Deedy of murder....
He said it would not have necessarily been easier to convict Deedy of the lesser manslaughter charge.
"We were supposed to judge him by those laws, not on what his punishment will be, you know? So, I don't know how much it would have changed, honestly. Because the laws we would have to go by would have been the same instructions," Odagiri said.
Odagiri said as a military brat, he grew up hunting in Montana with a gun.
The Pearl City resident said Hawaii laws on self defense are very vague....
KHON: Longtime lawyers question prosecution’s argument in Deedy case
HNN: Can Deedy get another impartial jury?
read ... Deadlocked
GOP sends operative to Democratic Hawaii
Politico: A GOP operative traveled to Hawaii this spring in an effort to make the Senate race there competitive.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent western regional political director Sarah Morgan, who managed Jeff Flake’s Senate campaign in Arizona last year, for a “campaign school” to train potential candidates and to meet with Hawaii GOP leaders....
A recent filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that the D.C.-based committee spent $847.16 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and $302.84 for a rental car on the island.
The committee said she was there May 16-17 to build coalitions and do outreach. The NRSC is trying to help Hawaii’s state GOP, which has a young chairman, build an infrastructure for the midterms.
National Republicans hope to capitalize on a Democratic primary between freshman Sen. Brian Schatz — who was appointed in December to replace the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye — and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa....
“One of the biggest secrets of the 2014 cycle is that the ugliest primary battle in America is a Democratic one in Barack Obama’s home state,” said NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring.
Ugly? Hawaii senator Brian Schatz involved in simulated sheep rape rituals
read ... GOP Operative
Running Out of Money, Senators Propose to Sue Navy Over Kahoolawe
CB: Malama Solomon and some members of Hawaii's Senate Water and Land Committee say the state should sue the U.S. Navy for roughly $100 million because it didn’t clean up all the ordnance that it dropped on the small island of Kahoolawe....
Navy spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan said by email that the Navy had spent seven years and $400 million to clear ordnance from more than 26,000 acres, or 85 percent of the island. To do more, would require additional funding.
"At the beginning of the clearance project, the goal was to clear all of the island's surface and perform additional subsurface clearing for designated areas, but the Navy and state recognized that depended on funding," the spokeswoman wrote. "No one familiar with Kaho`olawe or the clearance project ever promised or expected to clean up all of the (ordnance)."
Tauyan said that she was not aware of any congressional effort to appropriate more cleanup funds.
Background: Audit: Kahoolawe Money Gone After 18 years Without a Plan
read ... Running out of Money
OHA's Geothermal Group Led by Convicted Felon tied to Unity House Scam
ILind: a reader referred me to a comment by Mililani Trask at BigIslandChronicle.com posted a little over a year ago. Trask wrote in response to what she called “the inaccurate cut & paste snippets” of an earlier commenter concerning Roberta Cabral, founder of Innovations Development Group, which is competing for rights to develop a 50 megawatt geothermal on Hawaii Island. At issue was Cabral’s conviction on federal wire fraud and tax charges back a decade ago....
here’s the docket from the criminal case, showing the documents filed, in order, as the case progressed. The case predated the full availability of federal court records online. Second, the court’s judgment in the case, showing the offenses she was found guilty of. Third, the indictment. I have not been able to retrieve the fourth and final version of the indictment. I was able to download the Third Superseding Indictment.
ILind: Hawaiian Electric’s geothermal plan still drawing opposition
Background: After Receiving Campaign Cash, OHA Trustees Give $1.25M to Insolvent Geothermal Company
read ... More on geothermal developer Innovations Development Group
How Low Priced California Cannabis is Taking a Toll on Big Island Growers
BIW: For a long time, good weed sold for $300 to $350 an ounce on the Big Island, roughly equal to $5,000 to $5,400 per pound when bought wholesale directly from growers. Once the green stuff got to Oahu – where most of the Big Island product goes – the price of an ounce jumped to $450 or more, once broken down into eighths or quarter ounces. Today, it’s not uncommon for an ounce on the Big Island to sell for $150....
There was a time when Big Island pot growers were working with a grower’s market. “Five or six years ago everything would move. We’d get cashed out up front from guys who bought in bulk, but it’s different now. A lot of them want it fronted to them because they don’t know how long it’ll take to move,” explains a life long Big Island grower. He continues, “They take it to Oahu, and there’s just virtually thousands of pounds more, most of it grown in California.”
Says one former Big Island resident who moved to Humboldt County three years ago, “Everyone’s growing here. It just what people do. Thousands on top of thousands of pounds are produced all year long, usually farm style, and it’s become a pretty codependent relationship with Hawaii.”
She notes the California to Hawaii cannabis market is based on more than sales.
“I don’t think it’s just that there’s demand, the codependency is based on connections. Come to Humboldt and you’ll see a ton of people you know from the Big Island. They’ve either moved here to grow long term, or their just trimmers here for the season,” she explains.
While it’s true that Humboldt and Mendocino counties are filled with cash croppers growing hundreds to thousands pounds of mostly outdoor marijuana, it often moves slowly for them too. “Over here, for every grower shipping five or thirty pounds to Honolulu, they’re sitting on more than that, packaging nicely so it doesn’t mold while they hope for it to sell,” she says.
read ... About Puna
Hawaii "Never Ever Will" Steal Tech from Silicon Valley
PBN: He moved on to slide 13, which featured a snapshot from the Silicon Valley Business Journal titled, “Five states poised to steal CA companies and five that never, ever will.”
“Which side do you think Hawaii is on?” he asked me, as I paused from taking notes on my story about the future of UH’s billion-dollar research initiative, which will be the cover story in Friday’s print edition of Pacific Business News.
Given those two choices, I knew it was a safe bet that we were on the “never list” with a grade of “F” in areas of business friendliness, taxes, starting a business and hiring. Slide 15 reinforced this, with CNBC’s 2012 report on America’s Top States for Business placing Hawaii at No. 49 on the list.
read .. Never Ever
Tax Foundation’s ranking for Hawaii’s low sales tax is misleading
PBN: The Tax Foundation has ranked Hawaii as the second-lowest state in the nation in terms of combined state and average local sales tax rates that customers pay — the only thing is, Hawaii doesn’t have a sales tax.
The study used Hawaii’s general excise tax in the rankings, which is entirely different from a sales tax. The difference between the two is often confused even by those who live and work in Hawaii, Lowell Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii told me on Wednesday.
“It’s very misleading because we have a 4 percent rate,” he said of the general excise tax. “If we wanted to generate an equivalent amount of money under a sales tax structure, 4 percent general excise tax would have to be at least 10 percent, if not 11 percent [in sales tax].”
That would actually move Hawaii up to the top of the Tax Foundation’s list....
Tax Foundation spokesman Richard Borean noted in an email that the study clearly states that findings do not account for differences in tax bases.
“Experts generally agree that Hawaii has the broadest sales tax in the United States, taxing many products multiple times and, by one estimate, ultimately taxing 99.21 percent of the state’s personal income. This base is far wider than the national median, where the sales tax base applies to 34.46 percent of personal income,” the report later reads.
“The sales taxes in Hawaii and South Dakota have bases that include many services and so are not strictly comparable to other sales taxes,” Borean added.
read ... GE Tax
Mizuno to Bring Back Homeless Fly Back Program
WT: “This is not a function that is appropriate for the state of Hawaii to administer,” said Human Services Director Patricia McManaman. “We are not in the business of relocating homeless individuals and families to other states. If an individual wishes to return home, they should reach out to family members or seek support from charitable organizations.”
Executive agencies generally don’t have a choice when it comes to enforcing legislation, but the Return to Home bill says the department “may” coordinate the voluntary homeless relocation program — not “shall.”
“That was our torpedo,” House Vice Speaker John Mizuno told Hawaii Civil Beat. “The word we should’ve used is ‘shall,’ then they couldn’t hide behind an imaginary wall. We’ll go back to the drawing board next year.”
Mr. Mizuno said the measure was designed to address a small but specific portion of the homeless population. He estimated that 100 people per year would take advantage of the pilot program, which launched with an appropriation of $100,000 per year.
Read ... Fly Away
HCDA Condos Selling to Investors in Shanghai and Tokyo
Who here cares about residents’ dreams or aspirations for housing?
The high-rise condo boom in Honolulu will not satisfy the aspirations of our people, who are priced out of any hope of owning (or renting) what amount to stacked-up mansions, each with expensive ocean views. One already includes a promise of its own sushi bar for those unwilling to spread a little of their wealth out on the economy, and a guaranteed source of pate de fois gras right on the premises.
That condo is the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach. See: Shucks, I missed the condo sale yesterday (6/23/2013):
Of course. Ritz-Carlton. The name is appropriate.
A select group of about 75 pre-screened potential buyers crowded the project's sales office and showroom on the aptly named Luxury Row stretch of Kalakaua Avenue on Saturday for the official release of a "reserve collection" of full oceanview units. The event was broadcast live to satellite venues in Tokyo and Shanghai — "an industry first," according to Grosfeld, and streamed via the project's official website.
[Star-Advertiser p. B1, Condo buyers indulge in luxe life, 6/23/2013]
Those buyers aren’t wearing aloha shirts, folks. Nor are the buyers in Tokyo and Shanghai.
A giant video screen tracked the sales, with unit numbers disappearing from a illuminated floor plan as customers staked their claims.
Some of the buyers will be investors. Maybe they’ve already sold today what they just purchased Saturday.
The article indicates that residents of the “Ritz” will have not a pool, but “pools.” They can shop not at Foodland but at an on-site Dean & DeLuca, or if turning on the microwave is too much hassle, dine at the downstairs sushi restaurant.
read ... New Japanese Bubble
Chinatown: Will Sale of Affordable Housing Trigger EIS?
CB: The current City proposal to sell their affordable housing units will have an extremely detrimental effect on the Chinatown community and its existing residents....
We have been told by land planners, architects, businesses owners, City Council members and other informed persons that they expect four things will happened to Chinatown if this proposed sale goes through:
1) Economically, there will be a loss of purchasing power, which will negatively impact merchants and the arts that are already struggling.
2) Socially, there will be an increased need for Social Services and police to handle the increase in lower-income residents and associated adverse effects that come with concentrating low- and very-low income residents in one neighborhood.
3) Physical property vacancies will increase, property values will decrease, and there will be a higher demand for more pubic maintenance.
4) Finally, this action will negate any chance for creating a sustainable TOD, which requires economic vitality.
Additionally, it should be noted that Chinatown is a National Historical Landmark District, and the change in use or intensity of these properties should trigger a supplemental Environmental Impact Study because of the economic, social, cultural and physical deterioration threats to the district....
read ... Chinatown Lost?
Troubled Hilo water tank’s price tag rises
HTH: Hawaii County will pay another $400,000 for a water tank completed in 2004 that hasn’t yet been put into use.
Water Supply Board members Tuesday morning approved another $420,000 for the Kawailani water tank work, this time to reseal the Hilo tank. The approval came after a brief executive session, which board members requested to get a review of the project’s history, including litigation that culminated in a 2011 settlement with project consultant Wesley R. Segawa and Associates.
The changes bring the project total to $2.3 million, up from the original estimate of $1.9 million.
The board’s approval also included extending the deadline to complete the tank work until December 31.
read ... Troubled Hilo water tank’s price tag rises
Samoans continue fight for US citizenship
SA: A Kaimuki man is appealing the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging federal laws that classify him and others born in American Samoa as U.S. nationals instead of U.S. citizens.
Vaaleama Tovia Fosi and four others who were born in American Samoa sued the U.S. government in Washington, D.C., in July 2012, claiming that their denial of U.S. citizenship is unconstitutional.
American Samoa is the only U.S. territory in which people born there do not automatically get U.S. citizenship. American Samoans who want to become U.S. citizens must go through the same naturalization process as foreigners.
In June, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled that the constitution’s 14th Amendment citizenship clause doesn’t apply to people born in American Samoa and dismissed the lawsuit.
read ... US Nationals
Ministry's pot dispensing detailed
SA: Two women who worked with marijuana advocate Roger Christie said they never checked the identification of people who lined up outside The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry in Hilo to receive marijuana for use as sacrament.... Both said they handed out marijuana to people who presented ministry membership cards and made donations of between $20 and $50 as part of THC Ministry's "express" procedure for administering sacrament. They said Christie directed them not to tell the members how to use the marijuana.
read ... Ministry of Dope